Preparing for peer observation

You can agree in advance what aspects of practice you would like to receive feedback on. It may be your whole practice or you may wish to seek feedback on particular aspects. It is for you and your peer to agree the scope of what will be observed.

What preparation is required?

  1. Select your peer.
  2. Agree the time and location of the observation for each osteopath.
  3. Agree the scope for the observation with the observer (e.g. is it about one particular area, such as taking a case history or communication and consent, or is it about the whole consultation from taking a history through to treatment?).
  4. Set aside a patient appointment time for the observation and also allow around half an hour after the observation for discussion and feedback. Some participants like to set aside further time after a few days to allow deeper feedback and reflection – but this is up to you.
  5. Ensure that the patient booked for the appointment understands what will happen during the appointment and is happy to consent to the observation.
  6. Both parties may find it helpful to review resources about giving and receiving constructive feedback before the day of the observation. There are plenty of resources freely available on the internet which can be identified through a simple search. Examples include:

What happens on the day?

  1. Ask the peer to arrive in advance of the appointment.
  2. Agree how the consultation will proceed. For example, will the peer be present throughout the whole consultation? Will the peer observe silently? Or should they ask questions? Agree the template or format for the peer to take the notes. (See the example resources).
  3. When the patient arrives, greet the patient as usual and explain what will happen in the consultation. Ensure that the patient consents to the observation and understands that they are free to withdraw consent at any time. Remember, this is an opportunity to highlight to patients that osteopaths are committed to continuously enhancing their competence and expertise. You may also like to ask the patient to feedback about their experience should they wish to do so.
  4. Conclude the patient appointment as usual.
  5. Discuss the feedback from the peer. When giving feedback remember to include both strengths and areas for development. Couch feedback in terms of specific examples and pose questions. Feedback should be recorded in some way either by the osteopath or the peer to support discussion as part of the structured conversation with the peer discussion reviewer at the end of the three-year CPD cycle. Remember, the value of the exercise is not in the format of the recorded feedback, but in its content.

After the observation

  1. Ensure that the feedback is recorded in your CPD Folder.
  2. Consider having a short discussion with your peer discussion reviewer to support your reflection.


 You can also download this information as a pdf below.